I’ve been trying to call my parents for the last few days. Once it gets to about midnight or 1am I load up Skype and give ’em a ring. Nothing. Call failed or endless ringing. You have no idea what a sense of self-satisfaction this gives me. For once I’m not the person exhibiting shitty communication skills. I’ve been ceaselessly trying, but to no avail. Blame the massive down-under time difference. They’re 7 hours behind, a day ahead, so unless I choose not to sleep it’s tricky at best to get them on the line before work the next day. But I’ve been trying, so go me. I don’t know why I’m busting my chops so hard (“busting my chops” he says. It’s literally just loading up an app and ringing a few times. Zero point five effort required) to speak to them. If you’ve been following my writing closely over the past month you’ll realise that nothing of importance has happened in my life. It’s not like I’ve done anything noteworthy or had any powerful revelations worth reporting back to my parentals. Yet still I persist. I don’t want to call it “obligation”, because that removes the obvious love involved in the connection. I just don’t know why we really need to speak. I mean, they raised me for most of my life, one call per month is hardly a great expense on my behalf (and even phrasing it like that makes it sound like a chore to call them). We get on pretty well, the calls are enjoyable and it’s nice just to hear their voices. I realised the other day that it’s been over a year since I last saw them. It wasn’t a bombshell moment, no earth-shattering epiphany. More like when you look in your cupboard and notice you accidentally bought an extra can of tomatoes. An occurrence of no consequence, just mildly interesting to note. It would be swell to see the family again, but there’s no real sense of longing pulling me back. It’ll happen when it happens.
It must be gnawing at me somewhere though. Last night I dreamt I was at some huge office block party and my parents were there. They kept trying to score acid off my friends. My dad was so excited. When I tried to tell them I was leaving it took 13 times of telling him to actually get the message through, for him to acknowledge my existence. I hope my dream parents had a great acid trip, wherever it took them. In the dream I got contracted by a special police division to try and discover who was importing loads of super strong hallucinogens into the party. They thought they’d made a massive bust and got me to organise it. I was bored with the clerical work, so I broke off a piece of this large slab of dream-drug and chewed it in the hopes of livening up the sorting. No effect, also it was goddamn delicious. “Guys, you haven’t cracked anything. You’ve just confiscated stacks of large white cookies.” I was both congratulated on my sluthery and reprimanded for attempting to eat police property. They decided to just let me go back to the party rather than leaving a liability like me on the police team. I went off in search of my parents and found them in a large gazebo, tripping out while lounging back on cushions. I figured they were off on their own adventures and I’d only be a buzzkill if I interrupted.
Maybe something deeper afoot is happening. In the hidden reserves of my subconscious I must be concocting some kind of elaborate narrative whereby my parents have way too much going on in their busy lives to have time for me. They’re skipping out on Skype shenanigans because they’ve discovered some great new hobby. Perhaps they’ve finally started playing videogames and are too busy trawling dungeons for sick loot. Perhaps they’ve become reformed swingers and just can’t seem to find their keys in that large fishbowl. They could be on a secret mission to topple the leaders of ISIS or concocting a cure for ingrown hairs. They could be building a giant anime style robot to defend the earth from extra-terrestrial forces. I can’t discount the notion that they ran away to join the circus, or a weird amphibian sex cult. Maybe they’ve just ascended their physical bodies and are finding the internet too enticing to float around to shift back to reality.
Or maybe they’re just like me. They don’t have anything to talk about either and figure it’ll happen when it happens. The apple doesn’t fall far, right?